Scroll through your Instagram feed on any given day and (depending on who you follow) you'll see the same look cropping up over and over. There will be distressed denim. There will be athleisure bras with interesting cutouts. There will be Adidas Stan Smiths and Converse galore.
Sure, some shots will have neon bikinis and some will have marbled leggings, but for the most part, everyone seems to have adopted the minimalist aesthetic. I don't even have to describe it, because you can picture it already: neutral pieces that go with everything for the most convenient wardrobe possible.
Some people consider this a trend, and as we all know, trends pass. But this is more than the same pieces cropping up over and over; the minimalist aesthetic is a different approach to style altogether.
There is one unspoken commandment of this minimalism: every piece should go with everything else in the wardrobe for a perpetually put-together look.
Forget bright sweaters and feathered skirts. Forget neon shoes and blue eyeliner.
Every girl owns slightly distressed skinny jeans, slightly distressed leather jackets, high-waisted denim shorts, cropped t-shirts in neutral colors, oversized sweaters in neutral colors, mini dresses in neutral colors...
In championing convenience and wearability, we seem to have lost the exciting experimentation that makes fashion fun.
This is not aimed at those who are minimalist for environmental reasons. Some use capsule wardrobes to curb waste and reduce excess fabric. Kudos to them, they are doing good for the Earth. Instead, think about how many times we go shopping to buy the exact same things, in "wearable" colors.
I have nothing against basics. I have nothing against neutrals. I, a woman who owns a wardrobe of mostly black and denim, should not be criticizing the wear-all aesthetic. I'm not saying it's wrong to dress this way, or that you should be ashamed if you do. And yet.
As I experiment more with color, pattern, and texture, I've come to realize that fashion is not just about "what looks good together."
Yes, I'm talking about bringing back the fashion risk. If all your outfits look the same, it's time for a revamp. Stray outside of your comfort zone and define your personal style.
Personal style varies person to person. So does the definition of fashion risk. But telling people to take fashion risks is easy enough. The problem lies in styling them.
I can't tell you how exactly to take a fashion risk, but I can give an example or two.
I've created a couple of outfits that are personal fashion risks - outfits I am not currently brave enough to try in real life, but, if I ever released my death-grip on black and denim, I would love to wear. In the spirit of challenging myself to wear them, I'm sharing them with you:
When I first saw this blouse, I thought: How ridiculous! Next: I wonder if I could pull this off... So instead of copping out with jeans and flats and calling it a day, I picked a similarly scene-stealing number, this navy gingham skirt which, oddly enough, pairs well with the tangerine.
To accent the navy gingham, I added blue nail polish, and, a daring makeup classic, blue eyeliner. Finally, I added hoop earrings and cream wedges to complete the look.
Into the Gloss
I have two words: Leather. Capris. If I had the cojones to pull these off, I'd wear them with a frothy pink blouse, another piece I would never try to pull off except with this look.
I kept the rest of the outfit relatively simple: black platform heels, a small pendant, a white snakeskin clutch. I also threw in lip gloss, which I NEVER wear, because this is about taking risks, and I think it goes well with the outfit.
What do you think about the minimalist style trend?
Neutrals and Converse and denim cutoffs are not bad. But if you find yourself in a style rut, these supplementary pieces might be taking over your wardrobe.
Personal style is not going out of your way to find pieces that you think are ugly. It's taking a piece that speaks to you and styling it your way. Fashion is more rewarding when there's risk involved!
What Do You Think?
Are you stuck in a fashion rut? Have you been taking fashion risks lately? Have any tips? Let us know in the comments!